Expert urges safety and safe environments after two teens killed in separate ATV incidents

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Out on the dirt track, there’s a lot to be learned.

From little kids to big kids, there’s a sense that there’s a lot of fun in using dirt bikes, ATVs, and other similar vehicles, but that the fun should also be taken seriously.

“On any given day, we can have over 200 riders,” said Chad Reed with Moto40 MX Park in Statesville.

Reed spoke with FOX 46 in the shadow of two tragic events that happened over the weekend in two separate parts of Iredell County.

The first incident happened Sunday involving a dirt bike. Eleven-year-old Talon Dyson was killed while riding the bike. He is the son of an Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Lieutenant. Neighbors said it happened on Turnersburg Highway.

The second incident happened Monday involving an ATV. Family and friends identified the victim as 15-year-old Dawson Church, the son of a local firefighter.

“What happened over the weekend was unacceptable,” said Reed. “It’s what you dread the most.”

Authorities have not officially released detailed info about the accidents that led to the deaths of the two boys. Those who live close to where the accidents happened spoke off-camera with FOX46, describing the number of first responders who had arrived at the scenes.

Reed said the incidents, while tragic, are often reminders of the importance of safety and safe environments for riding any type of off-road motorized device.

He said he has been working to address safety problems, sometimes directly, namely by requiring riders to have helmets and safety gear on while on any motorbike on the Moto40 property, located off Interstate 40.  He said he hopes those riders will want to extend those safety practices outside the track if they use motorbikes at their homes.

“I love the fact that my children are taking up the sport, but as a father, it scares me,” said Reed. “I do know the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with it.”

Funeral services for Talon Dyson are set for Thursday. Services for Dawson Church are still pending.

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